Fear in Writing: Mystery Skateboards

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mystery Skateboards

You read that correctly. Instead of waxing philosophical on the balancing act that is the life of a writer/mother/freelance journalist with a torn MCL, I chose to google.
I googled "mystery."
This is what I found:
Mystery skateboards.
Mystery is all around, as pervasive as the art through which it is produced - and art these are!
The influences of great mystery and horror stories are in this art, as surely as they are in the fabric of our society. There is the black bird - Poe's raven, or at least a reference to ill omen. Psycho Annie - authors must at once think of William March's The Bad Seed (personal story about this at bottom of post), but other variations exist as well. Primal Rage again takes me back to Poe - The Murders In The Rue Morgue - but there is also King Kong and the question of friend or foe in that goliath.
I never would have googled "skateboard," but I found this site and was struck by the images. It's amazing how in this vast world we share a common experience: the story. No matter how it comes to us, be it movie or grandmother's voice, Internet or dog-eared book, it shapes our very existence and brings us together.
It's a mystery.

For more on these artful skateboards check out the website of Mystery Skateboards.

Now for the personal story. My mother is an actress and did many local theatre productions when my sister and I were young. When the time came, she drew Melissa and I into the acting world as well, and we took center stage for one special production each. At age 10 I played Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (won Best Actress for the year if I might brag). My sister was Rhoda in The Bad Seed.
I am not implying anything by this distinction! We had no control over the seasons chosen and the ages we were! But my sister made a scarily good Rhoda, and my father played the janitor she burned to death...Would you call us a sick family?
Years and years of theatre quotes and therapy later, we are all best friends and everyone is still alive.

So far.


  1. What a great story! Was your sister a natural for "The Bad Seed?" And you must have been able to act pretty unruly in the early part of "The Miracle Worker!"

    Thanks for sharing the skateboards...very cool! I had no idea the scope of mysteries today.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Fun post :) My son was into skateboards once upon a time, and I agree there are so many gorgeous designs. I love the way novels, poetry and other writing shows up in daily life!

  3. Congrats on being named Best Actress! (OK, belated congrats.)

    My 11-year-old is into acting, and it's a whole new world to me (he's currentlyYoung George in It's A Wonderful Life). Don't know where he got the bug - I don't have a dramatic bone in my body.

  4. Elizabeth - I would say my sister has a flare for the dramatic, but she is not a natural Rhoda by any means. I, too, was surprised by the skateboards. In fact, I almost didn't click on it, but curiosity got the better of me.

    Jemi - I agree it is fun to find stories in life! Of course we have all heard that art imitates life, but it is also interesting to look for art in new places. My son is only 4 but already fascinated by skateboards. He very sagely tells me, "Mom, when I'm a little bit older I can have one of those." And I nod and smile.

    Alan - Thank you for the congrats. But I beg to differ on the dramatic bones. Are we talking about the same Alan Orloff who wrote "Diamonds for the Dead?" Adultery, dead old men, surprise step-mothers, diamonds, and hidden Jews - sounds pretty dramatic! Tell your son to keep it up. Outlets for creativity are good for the soul.

  5. What a fun, interesting and enlightening post, Michelle! Wow that is some background in your family, and I too offer my congratulations on your Best Actress accomplishment! How exciting! Even more so by the fact that, as Elizabeth pointed out, that would have been a difficult character to play, especially at the beginning.

    Love your humor in the final paragraph of your post - made even better by the top-off statement of "So far." :)

  6. Crystal - Humour is something my family has in droves. From dry to borrowed, dark to goofy, we pull out all the stops. We've been known to make a stage out of emergency rooms across the country (thank you soccer tourneys), and a few Habitat Humanity sites as well.

    The truth about the Helen Keller role, besides enlightening a 10yo, it completely turned me off of scramblened eggs. Read the play or watch the movie and you will know why. I have only come back to the breakfast mainstay in recent years. And it must be very hot, and very dry.


  7. Ouch, a torn MCL??? I knew writing was a tough life, but this is taking it to extremes, or, did you get that injury from your secret, heart of heart passions: SkateBoarding. I linked over to the site and everything there is tastefully done in black and white. I’m wondering, is the artwork on the Boards, in color, or black and white, either way, it’s pretty incredible stuff.

    Best Regards, Galen

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  8. You caught me, Galen! Skateboarding it was! JK. Just good 'ol exercising at the gym, tore it up. This is actually a re-tear. I had surgery on this in high school from a soccer injury.
    They are nice boards, aren't they?


  9. Beautiful artwork. I hope it inspires the skateboarders to read.
    "Storycatcher", by Christina Baldwin, is about enriching our lives through story and how that connects people. Your dramatic beginnings is a great example--that creative background must help your writing. And congrats on the award! Ever thought of returning to the stage?